Tips for maintaining an elimination diet plan
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I complied these tips for maintaining an elimination diet plan for those who have eliminated foods due to a food intolerance, sensitivity or allergy. However, this is a great guide for anyone looking for some help to stay on track with their diet.
Believe me, I know how difficult it is to stay on track once you’ve had to eliminate foods from your diet. When I don’t stick to these ten tips*, I fall off the wagon.
I can occasionally (in moderation) eat foods that, previously, my body couldn’t handle. This is because I’ve done the work and healed myself, This means that I can have a small amount of the food on occasion and it doesn’t cause severe symptoms like it used to. Unfortunately however, that will likely not be the case for everyone. This is especially true if you have allergies (although there may be a solution for you if you have food allergies).
Mild to severe symptoms
If I consume a food that I previously couldn’t handle, my symptoms range from nonexistent to mild. This is just enough of a warning to remind me that I’ve eaten something my body (still) can’t handle. If I were to continue to eat the food, my symptoms would likely become severe once again (so I don’t suggest it). I think this is due to toxins and additives that is in our food supply.
Toxins in our food
Until the food industry does a better job at removing these substances from our food, it will likely always be the case that a particular food will cause you to have symptoms. To avoid this, I suggest you add (if possible) organic, non-GMO foods to your shopping cart and see if that helps. Otherwise, here is a list of ten must-have tips for maintaining an elimination diet plan.
Maintaining an elimination diet plan
1. Clean out your cupboards
Once you become aware of foods that don’t suit you, remove them from your cupboards.
2. Find substitutions
Find substitutes for your favorite foods. This may take a while, but before long, you will have a list of healthy substitutes. To help you get started, have a look at the list I’ve created (that is dairy free, lactose free, yeast free and refined sugar free).
3. Stock your pantry
Fill your cupboards with snacks, substitutions and healthy foods that you can eat.
4. Create a menu
This is a good idea for many reasons:
- Most importantly, it will help to keep you on track so you don’t eat anything you shouldn’t. Create a menu with only foods that you can tolerate. But I would also suggest, you create one that is healthy as well (just because you can tolerate a food doesn’t mean it is healthy or that you should eat it).
- There will be no guessing when it comes to mealtime because you’ve planned your meals (and snacks) ahead of time.
- You will have all the ingredients you need to prepare the meals because you added them to your shopping list (more about this in the next tip). Create a menu that includes everything you plan to eat during the day. If you have snacks, include those as well. At the very least, I suggest you create a monthly menu. When the month is over, you can rotate the menu or you can create a new menu for the following month.
5. Shop your menu
Write a grocery shopping list. If you shop a week at a time (for example), have a look at your menu and write down everything you will need for meals and snacks for that week.
6. Eat before you go out
If you can help it, don’t leave the house hungry (unless of course you’re going out for a meal). You’ll be much less tempted to eat something you shouldn’t. Even if you are going out for a meal, it might be wise to have a small snack before you go out so you are not drooling over that delicious food that is off limits to you.
7. Don’t go shopping hungry
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before; it is a great tip for saving money. However, my reason for adding it to the list is so that you are not tempted to buy something that your body doesn’t agree with.
8. Bring snacks
Whenever you go out (anywhere), bring healthy snacks. Bring a couple of snacks at least, and a bottle of water for that matter (as water will help you to feel full). When/if you get hungry while you’re out, you’ll have a healthy snack on hand to fight any temptations you may have while out.
9. Pack substitutions for vacations
When you go away, pack a cooler/bag with foods that you can eat and foods that you eat often. Alternatively, you could go shopping as soon as you arrive at your destination (or at your earliest convenience). That way, you will have those foods on hand when you need them.
10. Don’t browse the menu
Don’t look at the menu at all, unless the restaurant has a menu with sensitive options (gluten free, vegan, etc) that you can request, or that is offered to you. When the server comes to your table, tell them what you need and ask for their suggestions. If you have many foods that you cannot tolerate, this may be a difficult task; in which case, you could order a meal made with whole foods only (e.g. rice or potato, meat and veggies).
*I have to admit, I just thought of number ten, so it is new to me but I thought it would be helpful. I intend to try it next time I go out to a restaurant.
Please share if you know someone who would find this helpful. Thank! 🙂
Are you struggling with maintaining an elimination diet plan? Do you have any tips for maintaining an elimination diet plan? Share your comments below.
Be happy, stay healthy! 🙂